Surrounded by people and feeling disconnected maybe even empty inside. Going to events with friends and feeling like you are just going through the motions. Kind of fun on the surface yet nothing real happening on a human level. Everyone busy on their phones telling friends who aren't there how much fun they are having. Consuming just a little too much of whatever intoxicant is available. If you are well off enough, you could really get ahead and make your loneliness footprint global.
Fast forward 20 years and the venues you are going to may not be as cool, your friends a little worn. We are all chasing it are we not? That something out there that will complete us, fulfill us. Make us happy. I have news for you folks, it's not out there!
Happiness is an inside job and unless we are willing to own that, we will never experience true freedom. To paraphrase Mathew 10:14, "Take that bushel basket off of your light". The more you practice opening your heart and sharing your humanness the less lonely you will be. This is not a new new understanding, though it has been pushed aside by the deluge of infotainment that masquerades as wisdom in our culture. Most would agree with what I am saying conceptually. It would be awesome to get together with a group of people willing to share their hearts. Sounds good, please send me some info and if I am not too busy I will check it out. For a lot of folks that is going to be as close as it gets.
Bottom line is that you cannot share your heart conceptually. It is a completely experiential practice and to do so you have to be willing to get some on you! You have to be willing to mix it up with others who too, are willing to touch their humanity. When you do this often enough it sticks. As my teacher Ten Bears would say, "That my friend is a life worth living"!
I cannot tell you how to live your life, I can only live mine in a way that embraces for me, certain fundamental principles. The catch is that these do not feel external to me, it is as if they were written on my heart. Sometimes, I can see them clearly and at these times all of my actions flow from this place. Other times my vision is clouded by a barrage of thoughts and associated emotions. Actions become indecisive half measures defended by my old story.
It is only through a process of continually returning to this place, that my heart centered actions have grown stronger. Acknowledging this return with gratitude for having done so, leaves no room for feelings of shame or unworthiness. It's not about perfection, it's about practicing excellence which for me is making my best effort over time. This effort of course varies according to conditions.
It is this old story that serves to keep me separate from my deeper self and though it's voice is much more quiet than it used to be, it still grabs my attention. It is a fearful story of me and other, that preaches safety through vigilance and isolation. Yes, I know on a cognitive level that this story is a lie and in fact nothing more than a compilation of best guesses designed to keep me safe at all costs.
It's the at all costs part that really, really sucks as this is what weighs so heavily on my heart. In order to maintain the facade of safety and security based on mostly incorrect best guesses in the past, I did the following. Closed my heart to all people and situations that I was unable to control, manipulated others to meet my needs, isolated myself. I was trained throughout my early life to create connections in a sideways manner, testing and often rejecting so many potential friends, lovers and collaborators in life.
The surprise to me was finding that my behaviors though nothing to be proud of, left me well on the side of the majority of my fellow human beings. Wow, what a revelation to find that I was not alone in my apparent dysfunction, not that it actually made me feel better. Though it did help me process through the tremendous sense of loss and regret for what could have been. It also helped me find the determination to change this story the only way I knew how. Through strong intention support by resolute action I began living into a new story, one that became real for me.
This story is that of belonging, being a part of something bigger than myself! I learned through practice to catch myself while listening to this old story and call it out for what it is. Simply an outdated set of assumptions based on feelings linked to various emotional states. I have learned that safety itself is an illusion and that living my life with passion is not as risky as it first felt. My hope is that you will join me on this quest for a life well lived!
Change feels difficult for many of us! There are lots of reasons for this from overcoming resistance to poor yet convenient choices, allocating time for meal prep, exercise and some downtime for yourself.
One of perhaps the most challenging is finding support for your decision from those who are closest to you. Spouses, children and close friends as well as co-workers to name a few. I have heard a thousand times about how difficult this can be. The truth is almost everyone is invested in maintaining the status quo and would prefer that you did not rock the boat.
You may have heard some of the following non-supportive words, I don't like veggies mom, you're never around when I need you, hypnosis won't work (from the expert who has never tried it). You have been at this for two weeks and I don't see any change. On and on so you get the point.
Not so easy to be a Change Agent- someone who is determined to create change in their lives no matter what they are facing. It may even feel a little lonely, understandably so. Yet, what if there where people who shared your desire to create change and you just needed to find them?
This is something that I have put a good deal of thought into and I am offering some solutions. I created the Intentional Human Project as platform for this type of collaboration. Yes, that is the word not mere support but collaboration, in our Quest for change. One of the ways that I am reaching out is through workshops and events that are designed to bring people together who have an interest in personal and community growth. I am seeing that small group change is building and granted social media platforms are helping this occur. So please make an effort to connect with others who share your desire for creative activity. You are invited to join us in making a difference.
As of Tuesday next week the love of my life and I, will have completed the Whole 30. She can share her results personally as I will only share mine. I have to say the results are pretty amazing. First thing I noticed after about 4 days was my persistent cough was better. No dairy perhaps? At 10 days I was down about 7 lbs and at 15 the tiger blood started to kick in and I found myself running up and down the hall at work. No joke I am over sixty!
Was it easy to put everything in place so that my choices were the correct ones? Not really easy, yet not difficult. More and more grocery stores are carrying Whole 30 compliant foods and the above mentioned woman directed me to Pinterest, which I appreciated. Guys it's a whole new world!
So here's the next thing I discovered. Lot's of people do the Whole 30 as a detox or way of cleaning up their diets and feeling better. Then they slip back into their old habits until they decide to clean up again. Yes, some stay with it though I am curious percentage wise how many make it a lifestyle change. This is where I come in. I am putting together a simple program that utilizes Behavior Change Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Nutritional Health Coaching to help insure that real change occurs. Details coming soon! I will be announcing my final results next Tuesday and also talking about my visit to Orangetheory Fitness. My resolution for 2018 is to experience life to the fullest and to invite other to join with me. What's yours?
,Can you feel it? A feeling in your gut that tells you that you are ready. Ready for what, you ask yourself? I'm not sure though it feels kind of cool, like the feeling I used to have as a kid. You know just feeling curious and hopeful. I could imagine myself to be anybody or anything I wanted to and I never once heard an objection. I could fly to the moon and back and still get home for dinner. Camping in the backyard took me to the jungles of the amazon or the Himalayas.
So what went wrong? When did I lose the magic of a day filled with unlimited possibility? When did your sense of wonder vanish? For me it was not a specific day or event but a gradual slipping away until that feeling became pretty rare. It seems like I replaced this natural joy with an artificial joy that was dependent on something or many things that needed to align. It was usually related to some form of consumption or acquisition. Sometimes it was either alcohol or food induced. What I am calling joy is a very poor replacement and never really comes close. I am settling for a pretty poor consolation prize.
What's the pay off for acting this way, for going through life without feeling deeply, without expressing our true nature. When we discover this, we are stepping onto a path of profound change. If this idea sounds a little risky perhaps you are not as far from it as you think.
About the Author
Behavior Change Coach and Author James Barfoot holds certifications as a Master NLP practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist who is registered to practice in Washington State. He developed The Primal Toolbox a behavior change and coaching strategy based on a tribal models. James lives in Spokane WA.